Strong winds and side snow are blowing through southern Manitoba as the turbulent system, concentrated just across the US border, gives a sense of presence.
The storm began to cross the border on Tuesday night and made its way further north, to Winnipeg, Brandon and other communities on the Trans-Canadian Highway in the early hours of the morning.
“The heavy snow over southern Manitoba at the moment gives us a snowfall rate of about five centimeters per hour,” said CBC Manitoba meteorologist John Sauder.
“I’m not saying it will last two days. That would suck. But we will see that these heavy streaks of snow keep moving, so just go down and be safe and stay away from the highways if you can. “
Snow is hitting higher altitudes in western Manitoba much harder. Around Riding Mountain and Turtle Mountain, forecast models suggest that quantities could reach 80 cm or more until the storm is over.
When the weather suddenly gets worse, the scooters are abandoned. (Jeff Stapleton / CBC)
“Visibility is zero. It’s snowing away from the wind, “said Deb Bauche, who lives north of the International Garden of Peace on the Canadian-US border southwest of Winnipeg, near Turtle Mountain Provincial Park.
“It’s hard to say how much snow we had. I would say at least one foot, but we have places where there are deposits of two or three feet, “she said.
“I let go of my big dog this morning, it weighed 130 pounds and had nowhere to go. He panicked and returned. That’s evil. “
Snow, at times heavy, is expected to continue throughout the day, along with northeast winds with gusts of up to 70 km / h.
The journey will become increasingly difficult as the day progresses, Environment Canada said in a warning to the region.
Road conditions are a bit difficult in Winnipeg at the moment. This truck hit a traffic light while trying to stop on the Perimeter highway on St. Anna Road. (Cameron Mackintosh / CBC)
RCMPs are ready to close highways when needed. So far the list is:
- Trans-Canadian highway from Heddingley (just west of Winnipeg) to the border with Saskatchewan.
- Highway 75 from Winnipeg to the US border.
- Southern Perimeter Highway in Winnipeg.
- Highway 5 from the US border to Transcanada.
- Highway 10 from the US border to Transcanada.
- Sections of highways 2, 3, 6, 7, 13, 14, 26, 18 and 23.
In a news release Tuesday night, the RCMP said it was preparing to close all major highways in the province around midnight or when it starts to snow. The slower progress of the storm slowed this down somewhat, so that early widespread closures were not necessary.
The Trans-Canadian Highway is closed from Heddingley, west of Winnipeg, to the border with Saskatchewan. (Riley Laichuk / CBC)
Tara Liske of Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure urges people not to travel if they don’t need to – and to check website for the condition of the provincial highways if.
“All our teams are clearing the roads where they are open, so this is a blanket in the southwestern and southeastern parts of the province,” she said.
Transport staff are working with the RCMP to provide updates, and as conditions change, there is potential for more road closures, Liske said.
The system will continue to monitor north in the Interlake area of Manitoba throughout the day. The lowest level in Colorado is expected to stay over Minnesota, keeping Manitoba in sight until Friday.
For the Red River Valley, including Winnipeg and southeastern Manitoba, most of the snow is now expected to fall today, Environment Canada reported.
It will last until Thursday, but with smaller quantities expected, after which it will decrease on Friday.
The total snowfall by the time the storm subsides is expected to range from 30-40 cm in and around Winnipeg, 40-60 cm for the western Red River Valley, including Portage La Prairie and Morden, and 20-40 cm for the eastern Red The river valley and southeastern Manitoba, Environment Canada reported.
Areas west of Winnipeg are expected to experience snowstorms as the storm intensifies. Nearly zero visibility is likely in much of western Manitoba by this afternoon.
Snow conditions will continue overnight and will decrease to some extent on Thursday, but snow and snow will still be a problem, predicts Environment Canada.
The total amount of snowfall will vary from 25-50 cm, but with these higher amounts above Riding Mountain and Turtle Mountain.
The Meteorological Agency said earlier that the quantities at these higher altitudes could approach 80 cm.